Caro Diario (Dear Diary) (1993)

dear diary, i just watched a movie that has your italian cousin caro diario in it. now don’t be jealous that caro diario appears in a big old color movie, whereas you’re just a little bitty blog diary. don’t be jealous that nanni moretti puts his little diary up on the big screen and and then writes into it there, or that nanni’s so popular and witty and a real know-it-all, whereas you are typed into every day by a nobody who got caught one time with panties on his head. and finally, don’t be jealous that whereas i lie to you all the time so that the wife and kids won’t find out, nanni includes himself and his wife silvia right up there on the screen along with his little diary, and if he works up a heavy sweat, if you know what i mean, in a movie like quiet chaos, he can always tell silvia that he was just acting. although i hope that his twelve-year-old son doesn’t see him doing what he did in that one, at least not until the boy grows up a little bit more. and when, i mean if, i ever do some heavy sweating like that, i’m keeping it to myself, dear diary! you won’t need to know and neither will the wife.

besides, d.d., nanni is sort of like me – popular where he lives but who else knows him? whereas i’m popular in my backyard, but only when i’m throwing buddy his rag bone or pouring purina into his dinner bowl. so hold your head up high, dear little diary, because you know why? eyes are reading you right now! whereas in the big city down there on the flats, with its i-don’t-know-how-many libraries, caro diario is to be found only in the old carnegie free branch over by the cooling towers, on a vhs tape in a cardboard box! so sad.

nanni made caro in three parts:

part one – while he putt-putts around rome on his vespa, i am cruising pea gap on helga’s old huffy. nanni shouts beautiful slogans and that makes him grow beautiful (he says), whereas i squawk at the pickininnies and they pull on my sheet. just kidding. i pass harry and leonard sitting on harry’s porch. one day harry and leonard will be inside with the door closed and after that they’ll either be back on the porch or off to discover the world, who knows which? dillian is planting lillies in front of the church. leonarda is in the cemetery lying down on a yellow tablecloth, practicing for when she goes there and doesn’t come back. when i was in high school, there were scooters all over the place, mostly cushmans. where are they now? nanni says that there is a bridge in rome that he needs to cross twice a day (well, he can’t cross it just once, i guess, and still get back home); so i’m crossing pea creek on the huffy, dear diary, on those two-by-fours that the noxapater clan laid down after the last storm washed away their sorry little excuse for a bridge.

in part two, nanni travels around the aeolian islands with a friend who hasn’t watched tv in 30 years. my nanny never watched tv. she could stand on the tail of her bear rug and expectorate a stream of tobacco juice into a hills bros coffee can balanced on the nose of the bear, making the can ring like a bell. she would dunk the head of the bear in a pail of water once a year on easter to clean off the residue of her misses.

in part three, nanni gets sick. tumor. it don’t look good for nanni. mild spoiler: 15 years later, at 55, he’s still kicking. at first he just itched, dear diary, whereas i’ve got this godawful boil that makes me wonder how the hell i rode around the hamlet on that huffy all afternoon. nanni goes to doctors, whereas i use my special “medicine” from the pine grove half a mile up the hill. then nanny applies a poultice to the area and gives me a high colonic, though she don’t call it that. so don’t get sick, and if you want a horror film, forget saw or hostel and go find a documentary about cancer. also, quit watching so many movies and go help somebody who needs your help.

what a thinker nanni is, d.d.! you won’t catch him doing analogy or metaphor in this movie, no more than i do in you. he spits out the facts, straight onto the subtitles. although come to think of it, when he was riding around rome, there was no traffic, whereas on one of the islands that he visits, traffic is gridlocked and honking about it. could that mean something? can irony be metaphor?

anyway, thank you to duder for recommending the movie. it was good and it got me going. tomorrow, dear diary, i’m watching guadacanal diary and then taking my .22 out into the field to plink varmints. then i’m going to italy for three weeks to visit cinquefrondi, mammola, and grotteria on a rented vespa. ciào for now.

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